Wednesday, September 19, 2018

North sued for serving drinks, leading to deadly crash

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A year after a University of Arizona student died in a drunk driving crash, the families of those involved are suing a popular local restaurant.

The lawsuit, provided to Tucson News Now, claims North Italia Restaurant broke the law when it comes to serving drinks.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the estate of Mihir Dixit, who was killed, and Isabella Patterson, a woman who was injured in the crash on Oracle Road in September 2017.

According to documents, Dixit, Patterson and a third person, Antony Hall, a defendant named in the case, went to North Italia Restaurant in La Encantada around 10:30 p.m. on September 16, 2017, in celebration of Dixit's birthday.

Cell phone videos provided by attorneys to Tucson News Now show North employees pouring drinks for Dixit, who was of age at the time, while other glasses appear to have alcohol in them on the table.

A receipt for the total of $650.39 from the evening showed charges for two bottles of champagne and two bottles of white wine.

Receipt from lawsuit (Source: Tucson News Now)

The lawsuit alleges the North Italia employees never recorded identification for Patterson or Hall, who were 18 and 19-years-old at the time. It also claims the restaurant violated state law by delivering more than one liter of wine, to one person at one time.

It also states employees continued to serve those "obviously intoxicated" individuals and should have called for a sober driver, knowing their state.

After 90 minutes at the restaurant, documents state the group left around 11:30 p.m. in Hall's father's car, with Hall behind the wheel.

Accident reports state Hall lost control of the car and crashed into a pole on Oracle Road at Auto Mall Drive minutes later.

Vehicle involved in crash, via North lawsuit. (Source: Tucson News Now)

Mihir was pronounced dead on the scene while Isabella suffered severe injuries to her foot.

According to the lawsuit, all three people were legally drunk at the time of the accident. A toxicology report for Dixit, provided by the attorney from Axis Forensic Toxicology, indicated Dixit's alcohol concentration was .589. The blood was taken from Dixit's heart on September 19, 2017.

Tucson News Now reached out to Fox Restaurant Concepts, LLC, the restaurant group that owns North Italia. We were told they do not comment on pending litigation.

The suit names Anthony Hall, the 18-year-old driver, as a defendant. Hall was arrested and charged in his criminal case with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and extreme D-U-I.

Antony Hall, a defendant named in the case (Source: Tucson News Now)

The lawsuit does not specify any damages.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Lawsuit filed against nightclub, owner for death of patron

CHARLESTON — The New Boondocks bar and its owner face a lawsuit in the shooting death of a young father.

Brandi Chandler, the administrator of the estate of Jamaine Sutton, filed a complaint in Kanawha Circuit Court against Capital City Dynasty, which operates The New Boondocks, and Todd Nelson Miller, the owner of the nightclub.

According to the complaint, Sutton visited the bar on May 14, 2016 to socialize when friends when gunfire broke out. Sutton, 32, was near a door, but it was locked. Sutton was shot five times by a patron aiming at someone else. He died at the scene.

Sutton was unarmed and was not a responsible party in the violence that caused his death.

Jack Dolance Dolance Law

The lawsuit alleges the bar owner failed to have adequate security safeguards in place at his nightclub despite more than 100 calls placed to 911 about violence at the club in the prior year. In addition, the complaint states, Miller allowed patrons to enter without a pat down in exchange for paying a higher cover fee into the club.

Chandler is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Jack Dolance of Dolance Law Office.

"A young man was killed and he didn't need to be," Dolance told the West Virginia Record. "We want this business owner to know a life was lost and that others were affected by those actions. He was a young father and now he's gone."

Dolance said the violence in the bar that night was not the first incident there.

"This business now won't accept responsibility," Dolance said.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Injured passenger sues three bars, driver over accident

EDWARDSVILLE — Three bars and a driver face a lawsuit over an accident on Rockwell Road.

Eric Schumacher filed a complaint on Aug. 29 in Madison County Circuit Court against Amanda Canada, Dawg Haus Bar Inc., Rock Bottom LLC and Illinois Motorheads Inc.

According to the complaint, Canada was driving Schumacher down Rockwell Road near Klenke Lane when suddenly the vehicle left the roadway and rolled over. Schumacher suffered injuries to his head, left shoulder, face and hands, the complaint states.

Schumacher alleges Canada was intoxicated and speeding at the time. He claims Dawg Haus Bar Inc., Rock Bottom LLC and Illinois Motorheads Inc. violated the Dram Shop Act by selling alcohol to Canada.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against the defendants in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional limits of the court. He is represented by Laura E. Cole of Smith, Mendenhall, Selby & Cole in Alton.


Madison County Circuit Court case number 18-L-1123

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Carroll Restaurant Settled Out Of Court

A wrongful death lawsuit against a Carroll restaurant has been settled out of court. According to court records filed Aug. 31, the Estate of Linda Smith and her spouse, Billy Gene Carrick, voluntarily dismissed the case with prejudice after reaching a $100,000 settlement agreement more than a year before it was scheduled to go to trial. 

The original petition was filed in April earlier this year and claimed Dos Rancheros, doing business as Rancho Grande, was liable for the May 2017 death of 57-year-old Linda Smith of Coon Rapids. Smith had been served alcohol while eating lunch at the restaurant and later died from injuries received in a car accident on Highway 71 about five miles south of Carroll. An autopsy showed Smith had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .203 percent at the time of the crash. A separate lawsuit filed by the driver of the second vehicle, Corie J. Smith, is still pending in District Court for Carroll County.